Hon Tanya Plibersek and Senator Louise Pratt this morning have announced that a Shorten
Labor Government will give a new independent taskforce strong powers to crack down on
sexual harassment and assault at universities and residential colleges. Something that NUS
along with Fair Agenda, End Rape on Campus and The Hunting Ground Australia have been
calling on the Federal Government to do since February.
“This is a win for students and survivors today. Labor has stepped forward and made a
commitment to ensuring student safety and ending sexual violence,” Says Kate Crossin, NUS
National Women’s Officer,
“Government will finally have the power to hold Universities and Residential colleges
accountable and ensure transparency in their responses to sexual assault and harassment.”
NUS, Fair Agenda, End Rape on Campus and The Hunting Ground Australia have been
working with the government on a national taskforce for months, with former Education Minister
Simon Birmingham set to announce the government’s plans in September. Of course, this all
changed after the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull and the ministerial reshuffle that saw Dan Tehan
appointed to Minister for Education.
“The Liberal government have been too distracted with party politics to do their jobs, all at the
expense of students being sexually assaulted on campus,” Says Crossin, “They should have
made this commitment months ago but instead, student safety has been pushed off the
agenda.”
“Students have waited too long for real action on sexual harassment and assault. Universities
have been failing for decades and it’s time for the federal government to step in and see to it
that things change,” Says Mark Pace, NUS President.